It’s not every day that you come across an attraction that is both historical and holds a place in motorsport in the same location, but when you do, you know you’ve found something special.
This is exactly the type of place that you will find Lake Cumberland Speedway in today. One of the first paved oval tracks in the United States, it was first opened in 1910 and continues to host a variety of racing events to this day. It’s not just an old name that you need to know, but a place that continues to hold a special place in racing history.
A Brief History Of Lake Cumberland Speedway
Lake Cumberland Speedway is one of the original motorsports venues in the United States. It was first opened in 1910 as a way to promote automobiles in the area and gave locals a chance to come together and socialize while enjoying the thrill of competition. The track was originally built on a small scale, featuring dirt oval tracks that were just a few hundred yards in length, but the facility immediately began expanding. This was mainly due to the popularity of motorcycle racing in the 20s and 30s, which led to the creation of larger paved oval tracks like the one at Lake Cumberland in the following years. The speedway continued expanding throughout the 1910s and held its first professional car race in 1919, with a total of 12 road courses held there throughout the year. This attracted the attention of the press, which helped to spread the word about the speedway and its popular events. The facility continued to grow throughout the 1920s and 1930s, adding more asphalt to accommodate the increasing number of cars and trucks that were being driven there. In fact, during this time, it was even the location of the Indy 500, which was first held at the facility in 1914 and continues to be one of its most popular annual events. The popularity of the speedway was such that it even earned the nickname of the “Tin Goose” on account of the large number of spectators that turned up to each event. At one point, there were over 40,000 people there on a typical weekend, which made it one of the biggest sports venues in the area at the time.
Though the number of people attending the speedway declined in the years following World War II, it did not stop the owners from continuing to expand and improve the infrastructure. The track remained in its original location until 1961, when it was moved to its present-day home because of concerns over increased crowding at the original site. The move didn’t damage the facility’s popularity, however, as it was soon reopened and continues to be popular today. The owners continue to work hard to ensure that the legacy of this historic venue is not only maintained but also increased. They have a range of initiatives that they use to promote themselves and their events, including historical markers, murals, and vintage photographs. If you’re ever in the area, it’s well worth a visit.
Where Can I Stay Near Lake Cumberland Speedway?
If you’re looking to stay nearby Lake Cumberland Speedway, there are plenty of hotels located within a short driving distance of the track. Hotels include the Days Inn, the Hampton Inn & Suites, and the Holiday Inn Express, with the latter being the closest to the speedway and boasting some amazing amenities, including a health club with a pool.
In addition to these, there are a number of bed & breakfasts, including the historic Watkins Glen Lodge, located within walking distance of the track. If you’re looking for something more unique, however, consider renting a house from Airbnb, which offers guests the chance to stay right next to the venue. The house-sharers are usually located in the town of Adams, which is located in between Lake Cumberland Speedway and Watkins Glen International Park, which is where you’ll find the famous Watkins Glen Resort & Attraction. The house-sharer will usually be able to give you a call to let you know when the next event is on so that you can make the most of your time there. It may also be worth looking into the track’s online booking system, through which you can make reservations months in advance and ensure that you get your chosen date and time.
What Are The Opening Hours At Lake Cumberland Speedway?
Though the actual hours vary from day to day, Lake Cumberland Speedway mostly operates on a Sunday to Thursday basis, with the track opening at 11 am and closing at 5 pm. The staff does its best to ensure that there are always racing events going on during the week in between, but due to popular demand, there are usually events on Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday nights. On Thursdays, there are usually four or five events, and on Fridays, there are often two. There is also an annual “retro” race that takes place on the third Saturday of each October and that features cars, trucks, and motorcycles that are decked out in period attire and displaying old-style license plates. This is usually held just before the regular Saturday race and is a great way to end the week. Check the track’s website for information on upcoming events and road courses.
What Is The Best Way To Get To Lake Cumberland Speedway?
One of the best ways to get to Lake Cumberland Speedway is by car. This is especially convenient because there are a number of bus routes that stop nearby, offering passengers the opportunity to get to the track easily. The best way to get to the speedway, however, is by driving on the Glenbrook Road. When you reach the end of this street, known as Glenbrook Terrace, you will find a parking lot and a walkway that leads up to the entrance. From here, it’s a short walk to the start line. Though there are no dedicated bus stops for the race itself, you can get a token at the race office on Glenbrook Road and find a convenient seat on the general bus stop along the route. When you get off the bus, you’ll be at the entrance to the track, but you’ll have to walk for about 15 minutes along the access road until you reach the backstretch, where you can park and take the walkway up to the ticket booth to get your race tickets.
Though driving is the best way to get to Lake Cumberland Speedway, you can also take the bus. There are a number of stops along the route that will get you close enough for a quick walk to the entrance. The ticket booth is located next to the bus stop, so when you get off the bus, you can easily walk over to purchase your tickets. The owners of the speedway are committed to ensuring that their legacy is not only maintained but also continues to grow. By providing a safe and enjoyable place for their local community to come together and celebrate motorsport, they are doing their bit to keep the history of this special venue alive and well.